Thursday, April 10, 2014

Loving the commute.

Today, I’m thinking about “journey” vs. “destination.”  

People toss around Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote, “Life is a journey, not a destination,” as a way to get people to relax and accept a certain amount of annoyance and trouble as the price of doing something they want to do. Or, as a reminder to appreciate the good things in between.

I got to thinking about journey vs. destination because my mode of travel - mostly on foot these days - IS sometimes more pleasant than the destination.  Journey, as I was thinking about it, is really like commuting and not the philosophical comment on the long sweep of life that inevitably leads to the “destination” of death.

Yesterday, around 7:00 a.m., I cut through South Park blocks on my way to work, and I snapped this picture.  The place was serene and beautiful.  The air smelled clean and felt cool.  The sky was clear.  The trees are not fully leafed out, making the beautiful old church tower more visible.   

That night, I encountered the opposite of serene – the wild circus that is a professional basketball game.  Although the players might seem like they were sleepwalking for the first couple of quarters, the chaos around them was blaring loud and raucous:  Dancers, acrobatics, free t-shirts tossed into the crowd.  Loud Music.  Loud Announcer.  Loud Music.  Did I say LOUD? 

Around 9:30 p.m., the Portland Trail Blazers won their basketball game on the last shot.  The opposite of serene with cheering and explosions erupted.

But, then I enjoyed the journey home.  Chris C. and I walked over the Willamette River on the Broadway Bridge into The Pearl District. The air smelled clean and felt cool.  The sky was clear.  The city lights and architecture spread before us under the ridge of the West Hills and Forest Park.

I appreciated the bookend walks to my day.  At the time some basketball fans were still trying to merge onto the freeway, I was unlocking my home’s door.